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TV is a big part of my life and always has been. Now this isn’t something one should ever really admit to—you know, being “lowbrow” and all—but growing up an only child, my weeknights would normally consist of me in front of the set watching anything and everything. I loved being able to grow up with certain characters and pretend like they were my friends in real life (I’m still mad at Kelly for what she did to Brenda). But really, I’d get so invested in their fictional lives. And I still do. Lots of life lessons I’ve learned vicariously through watching a ridiculous amount of television; in honor of that, I had to make this list of Christmas gifts each of my favorite, inspirational single girl characters deserve.
Who: Jackie Burkhart of That ‘70s Show
Why she is bitchin’:
She could very well be classified as one of the most annoying characters on primetime television. From her high-pitched voice to snobby, popular cheerleader demeanor, That ‘70s Show’s Jackie Burkhart should be hated, but everything about her superficialness, ability to command presence (even if it’s most likely an inferiority complex), and get absolutely anything she wants (i.e. perfecting manipulation of the male species) is, to me, admirable. Even if she scored the hottest guys in Wisconsin, or hell, all of America (I was head over heels for Ashton Kutcher at the time), Jackie always kept it real and did one thing most of us fail at… loving yourself so much that you are willing to do this:
It’s never a bad thing to love yourself too much, right? I mean, Beyonce didn’t write “Flawless” for nothing.
Her best advice:
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies fat.”
What to gift her:
Jackie’s body is her most prized possession, so a SpaFinder gift card is the perfect present for pampering this ‘70s princess. There is no better gift than a “me” day, and you can bet Jackie is all about that life.
The perfect Jackie gift wouldn’t be complete without a chic mirror, like this one from Anthropologie. Because for someone who admires herself as much as Jackie does, you can never have enough mirrors.
Who: Robin Scherbatsky of How I Met Your Mother
Why she is awesome:
Robin is the all-encapsulating, modern day single girl on HIMYM whom any girl like me wishes to be. Aside from being career-driven, incredibly independent, having an unabashed obsession with food and fear of babies, Robin is not the typical single female character. Only she could get away with smoking cigars for breakfast and having Charles as a middle name while still looking like a total bombshell. Seriously, this is the kind of sexual prowess I’ve always wanted but really, me doing anything of the sort (i.e. shooting guns or playing laser tag) comes off as sufficiently awkward. To me, Robin represents everything a strong, independent single girl should be aboot. Oh yeah, AND she’s a former Canadian teenage pop star who also made you wish you went on mall tours.
Her best words:
“Okay but, if relationships are like a freeway, then saying ‘mm hmm hmm’ is like, getting into the carpool lane. And, I don’t want to take an exit, but at the same time I’m not ready to get into the carpool lane. Because what’s in the carpool lane? Oh, it’s a big diamond!”
What to gift her:
Any present you’d think of giving your boyfriend or any man in your life, Scherbatsky would probably appreciate… which is why if this badass bitch were my BFF in real life (yes, you could say my obsession is borderline Patrice level), here’s what I’d get her:
A secret vault to hide literally everything she would want unseen, like those Robin Sparkles music videos or her gun. I mean, if Barney is allowed to have hella safes hidden in his bachelor pad, why can’t she? *high five*
Who: Penny Hartz of Happy Endings
Why she is amahzing:
Penny is the ultimate single girl who’s been through it all: whore’s baths, awkward dates, a hipster phase, dating a Hitler, and even being immobilized after a skydiving date. Though she may not have the best of luck in the love department, we can all learn from Penny’s most traumatic moments because she’s not the type to sulk over heartache (with the exception of her failed engagement, but that’s a whole other level). Instead, Penny gets back on track, puts her best Blanche Deveraux face on, and nothing can knock her down (not even Jane at Krav Maga). Despite hitting her head a bajillion times, Penny remains as sane as one with an addiction to Nochetussin could be (which isn’t that bad if you really think about it…). All crahzah (“crazy, should’ve just said crazy”) things aside, Penny is every girl’s spirit animal: she’s mastered the art of the selfie, admitted to skipping pilates for doughnuts, and has that odd obsession with Kris Jenner just like the rest of us. So honestly, could she be any more amahzing?
Her best saying:
“I don’t want no scrub! A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me… I can’t go back on a mantra like that.”
What to gift her:
This is probs the most obv stocking stuffer for Penny, the master of abbrevs, but this tote is a MUST for those trips to the flea market with your gay husband or for the gym/jazz-kwon-do classes.
After spending those “sweet Chianti-soaked nights” abroad (how else can you explain her fluent Italian whilst intoxicated?), why not gift Pennisima with a bottle of vino straight from the source? Perfect for a girls’-night-in gossip sesh wearing Bassett by Angela for Angela Bassett pants or some good ol’ pajoveralls.
We hope you’re spending your holiday catching up with friends and family as well as cozying up with marathons of your favorite shows. As we move into the new year, let these superbly single characters inspire you in different ways. Who are some of your TV BFFs?
Colleen Viana holds a Master’s Degree in Media Studies from the New School and works in radio advertising.